>August! Ahhh, breathe her in: that mix of chlorine, truck exhaust, and greenhouse gases. The dog days of summer, you say? I say “nay.” That’s the smell of America, people.
It’s a month of hot anticipation: for football season, for a new school year, for Lollapalooza, for fall album releases, etc. It’s a month of extremes: scorching weather, major moves, fantasy football pre-draft trash talk, etc. It’s a time of madness: the days drift into each other, the nights offer no relief, the whole month melts into one delirious haze until you wake up, September’s arrived, school’s in session, and it feels like a new year. Also, August is the month when all hugely talented songwriters were born. Fact.
I love August.
And I love August’s Fan of the Month. She’s woman of extremes (talent, passion, Jill Scott enthusiasms, etc.). She’s been known to induce delirium. She’s prone to hilarity. She’s open to madness. She invented something called “Tessa-Bop-It.” She is…
August’s Fan of the Month, Tessa in New York City!
(If you’d like to be a future Fan of the Month, just drop me a line with “FOM” in the subject. I promise all emails are read and much appreciated!)
|The view from my old apartment.|
A VHS copy of Mighty Ducks 3!
Nine pieces of gum!
The love and adoration of millions!
This handsome wicker basket!
Eight pieces of gum!
Now, let’s get to know a little more about her…
Something the average interweb browser wouldn’t know about me is…?
I have an entire bag of stupid human tricks that include hyper-extending my hands, singing inside of my mouth, and a game called “Tessa-Bop-It.”
(Editor’s Note: Um, what? Wait–what???)
Does “Tessa-Bop-It” involve you hyper-extending your hands while singing inside your mouth? Does it involve a mallet? Give us something!
Ha! Nope, no mallet. It’s a game that a dear friend and I made up, wherein he pokes a certain area of my body, then I produce a noise. The noises include: a horn honking, an operatic wail, an “ah-ooooh-ga” horn noise, and an “Ay, Papi!” exclamation. I’ll let you wonder which noise belongs to which body part. :) The game is on me, though, because he decides randomly where he’s going to poke. It gets progressively faster, so I have to really be on my game.
(Editor’s Note: That answer was everything I hoped it would be, and so much more.)
(Chris’s Note: Someday I’m going to pay the interns to tie you up and play “Editor-Bop-It.”)
(Editor’s Note: I’ll brush up on my operatic wail. And my Spanish.)
The music scene in NYC is…?
Depends on what neighborhood you’re in! I live in West Harlem, just down the street from St. Nick’s Pub, a famous jazz music haunt.
Whatcha do for a living?
I am a singer/actor/visual artist/computer word and graphics processor. Holla.
When was the last time you ate at Burger King?
I do not recall. I stay away from the fast food ever since watching Super Size Me.
(Editor’s Note: Weird. The lesson I took away from that movie was to distrust redheads. No? Wrong?)
You have one meal left in life but it has to be fast food. You can pick and choose different items from different joints. Name that meal!
I’d have to say a Sourdough Jack meal with curly fries from Jack-In-the-Box, yo.
You have one meal left in life, period. Name that meal!
My mama’s Italian dinner with angel hair pasta, Italian sausage sauce, caesar salad, and Texas toast. Made with love. Delicioso.
What music publications/blogs/sites do you read? Any of them good?
(Editor’s Note: Great site! Best editor in the business!)
|Jammin on the one.|
Pick your dream concert. Any three (living) artists, anywhere, any venue, any month, any time of day. What is it? What’s it called?
It’s called “Tunes for Tessa” and it’s Jill Scott, Stevie Wonder, and Chris Milam. It would be nighttime at Carnegie Hall, sometime in the fall. And it would be a private concert for just me and my friends and family. That would be righteous.
(Chris’s Note: That WOULD be righteous! Something tells me I’d leave that night a much wiser person. I’m in–you’ve booked 1/3 of it.)
You can pick one album as your morning alarm for a year. The songs and their “wake-up” segments will shuffle randomly, but you are stuck with this album for a full year. What is it?
Chris Milam’s Up! I could wake up to any one of those songs for one year, easy. Make it five! :)
(Editor’s Note: Alright Chris, how much did you pay her?)
(Chris’s Note: How dare you?)
If you could fight any public figure, who would it be and why?
In general, I don’t fight. But, if I had to choose, I’d love to give George W. a swift kick in the nuts.
Fill in the blanks!
Five favorite artists from the 60’s are…?
Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke, Stevie Wonder, The Mamas & The Papas.
Five favorite artists from the 90’s are…?
Pearl Jam, Mariah Carey, Metallica, U2, Notorious B.I.G.
Five favorite artists from the 2000’s are…?
Chris Milam, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, India.Arie, Robyn.
(Editor’s Note: Glorious. If those five hung out, Chris would burn incense constantly and start all sentences, “That reminds me of something INDIA SAID…“)
(Chris’s Note: I do that now.)
Some more singer/songwriters I love are… ?
Amber Rubarth, Charlie Winston, Adele.
….is my favorite Beatle.
…is my favorite adjective in the English language.
Know any adjectives from other languages?
[Something typed in Russian I can’t duplicate.] Pronounced oh-chen. It’s “very” in Russian. I know it’s an intensifying adverb, but that’s all I got.
…is my favorite month of the year.
|Tis the season. Kind of.|
December’s the snuggliest month of all. I have a tradition of watching Love Actually every December and melting into a puddle of hugs and sweaters and hot chocolate and mirth. What’s your favorite holiday tradition? Any favorite Christmastime movies?
Could you be any more adorable? I think not. :) My fave family tradition is sitting around the piano with egg nog (Mom’s recipe packs a powerful punch….see what I did there?) after the Christmas Eve church service and singing Christmas songs together until the wee hours of the morning.
(Editor’s Note: Ahhhhhhhmmmmmmm…)
…is my least-favorite month of the year.
Favorite wrongly-heard song lyric is…? (e.g. “Excuse me while I kiss this guy…”)
From R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion”: “Let’s pee in the corner/let’s pee in the spotlight.” HA!
(Editor’s Note: Actual lyric: “That’s me in the corner/that’s me in the spotlight.” Although, with Stipe, who really knows? What is art? Is art…art???)
(Chris’s Note: How dare you?)
Favorite rock album of the Oughts?
I know it’s kinda pop too, but I sure did love me some Missundaztood by Pink. :)
Favorite non-rock album of the Oughts?
Chris Milam’s Up! Is it excessive? Am I being excessive with the fandom? I don’t care. I gotta be me. :)
Favorite movie (you can pick separate ones for comedy and drama)?
Harold and Maude.
Favorite TV show (you can pick separate ones for comedy and drama)?
The Office, Six Feet Under.
|Founding Father, Scroll-Holder, Colonial Dreamboat.|
Rank these items in order of awesomeness: John Adams, the city of New York, salsa (the food), salsa (the dance), John Quincy Adams, preseason football, 1964.
Um, incidentally, you’ve listed the order I would have picked. :)
I ranked all twelve months a while back. Where would August be in your rankings (1 being best)? What’s #1? What’s #12?
August would be #9. December is still #1, with July keeping the #12 spot. It’s just too damn hot.
I did a “Monthly Playlist” throughout 2009, and have taken a brief hiatus. I need your help. Give me 5 “Songs for August.”
1) Charlie Winston, “Boxes“
2) Robyn, “Dancing On My Own“
3) Jill Scott, “Golden“
4) Amber Rubarth, “Chrysanthemum Song“
5) Janis Joplin, “Piece of My Heart“
You can move anywhere in America for six months. Money, time, and job situation are no object. Name the place.
San Francisco, CA.
San Francisco’s my pick too! Wanna go?
Totally!! Let’s do it! As long as we can make it a road trip and wear flowers in our hair.
(Editor’s Note: If you can guarantee Mom’s eggnog and a game of Tessa-Bop-It, I’m in!)
You can move anywhere on earth for six months. Same deal. Same place, or do you become an expat?
What’s one thing you love about living in NYC that you can’t find anywhere else?
The massive range of thriving cultures and the (mostly) communal acceptance of them all.
What’s one thing you love about somewhere else that you cannot find in NYC?
Ft. Worth, TX, because it has my parents in it.
(Editor’s Note: And the nog. And the holiday singalongs. And the Italian dinners. Sigh.)
Summer’s typically good for new music, but notoriously slow for TV. What do you watch to get you through the dog days?
So You Think You Can Dance!
QUICK: how many hours til football returns?
(Editor’s Note: Snaps on Chris! Snaps on Chris!)
(Chris’s Note: Snaps on me! Snaps on me!)
“Snore” for football?!? Do you sleep through all sports?
Yes, snore for all sports. I kinda hate sports. It’s a money thing. It doesn’t need to be as extravagant as it is while so many people are struggling, ya know? But, I know you are a huge sports fan. I hope we can get through this. :)
(Chris’s Note: We can. We’ll always have San Francisco.)
You are going out tonight. You are going out to do whatever it is you would like to do for a fun night of festivity and frivolity. This can include anything from dolphin-riding to Norwegian wet-sweater contests to passing out into a BBQ pizza. Anything goes. You get to assemble your posse for the night. You can pick ANY FOUR MEN OR ANY FOUR WOMEN on the planet, friends, celebrities, athletes, etc. Who is in your entourage and why?
1) Chris Milam, because he’s the bestest.
2) Jill Scott, because I am determined to become friends with that woman and sing with her someday. This could be a good night to get that ball rolling.
3 & 4) My sister Paula and my brother Jeff, because they pretty much rule.
|DUI’s, youth hockey, cake-eaters. Disney: where dreams come true.|
Where will music be in 5 years? What will be the next “big thing”? Where would you like to see it go?
Chris Milam is the next big thing, folks! GET ONBOARD! I won’t rest until he has gaggles of tweens stalking him and a mother-effing Grammy. :)
(Editor’s Note: “Mother Effing Grammy” was my family’s nickname for one grandmother. The other was “Meemaw.” True story.)
Finally, how can I ever thank you for the support?
That Mighty Ducks 3 VHS copy seals the deal. Classic.